When it comes to public affairs and community involvement, Mike Stout is a leader at the center of the action. His efforts at Missouri State University are impacting the school and the city. As associate professor of sociology, a tenured position he picked up one year early, he is the inaugural director for the university’s Center for Community Engagement to support the school’s public affairs mission. His dedication to community service can be seen through his work as the Missouri representative on the board of directors for the Midwest Sociological Society. Locally, Stout established the Neighbor for Neighbor program, which is being used as a model for the city’s Zone 1 blitz initiative.
What was your first job? I was a paperboy. It was nothing like the video game, but I did manage to make good tips.
What is your theme song? “Soulshine,” by the Allman Brothers.
When did you realize you had grown up? When I got my first student loan bill and had to pay for it.
What do you miss most about the 1990s? The quality of hip-hop music.
What did you learn the hard way? Mental health and addiction are major issues in our society that we aren’t even close to being prepared to deal with in an effective way. In fact, we deal with them in the complete opposite way that we should. Ideally, we would treat them as health issues, but in reality we stigmatize them and we treat them as criminal issues.
What historical figure do you identify with most? Kurt Vonnegut.